Home windows 11 cheat sheet: All the pieces it’s worthwhile to know

Microsoft made its latest working system, Home windows 11, publicly obtainable on October 5, 2021 — just a little over six years after Windows 10 debuted. Home windows 11 provides a number of updates and new options, together with a less complicated design supposed to extend productiveness, ease of use and creativity, methods to connect with folks quicker, higher PC gaming experiences, quicker methods to get info you want, an all-new Microsoft Retailer, and a extra open ecosystem that unlocks new alternatives for developers and different creators.

This Microsoft Home windows 11 cheat sheet particulars the working system’s primary options, lists system necessities, explains how and when to get it, and extra. We’ll replace this Home windows 11 information as new info is launched. Obtain the free PDF version of this Windows 11 cheat sheet.

SEE: Try these Windows 11 tips on installation, security and more from TechRepublic.

Soar to:

What’s Home windows 11?

Home windows 11 is Microsoft’s latest main launch of its working system and the successor to Home windows 10. The OS options an all-new simplified, but modernized, interface designed to encourage productiveness and creativity.

Home windows 11 launched

Microsoft Home windows 11 is out there as a common launch to the general public. Assuming your private laptop meets the prerequisite requirements including installation of Windows 10 1909 or later, you possibly can improve to Home windows 11 by navigating to the Replace & Safety settings display screen.

Customers may additionally reap the benefits of the Windows 11 Installation Assistant to bypass the Home windows 10 Replace & Safety display screen and improve to Home windows 11 straight.

Whereas the March 2022 Windows 11 Patch isn’t categorized as a “function replace” to the working system by Microsoft, the patch did comprise a number of unannounced options. For instance, in case you run Home windows 11 with Widgets turned on, you’ll discover a brand new icon within the decrease left nook of the desktop that gives a abstract of your native climate situations. Microsoft has additionally up to date Notepad and rebranded the Groove media participant.

In September 2023, Microsoft started rolling out a brand new Home windows 11 replace to eligible computer systems. Often called Windows 11 23H2, this newest main replace provides new options, functions and safety protocols to the working system, together with Home windows Copilot, File Explorer enhancements, Home windows backup app, taskbar enhancements, new quantity mixer, 7-Zip and RAR help and RGB peripheral customization.

SEE: Uncover everything you need to know about Microsoft Copilot on this TechRepublic cheat sheet.

In September 2020, Microsoft started rolling out a brand new Home windows 11 replace to eligible computer systems. Often called Windows 11 22H2, this primary main replace added new options, functions and safety protocols to the working system, together with hypervisor-protected code integrity security, sync standing of OneDrive displayed in File Explorer, Home windows Studio Results, and streamlining adjustments for future Home windows 11 updates and patches.

Pre-release updates of Home windows 11

On July 29, 2021, a preview version of Windows 11 was obtainable for assessment to members of the Home windows Insider Beta Channel; earlier than that date, preview variations of Home windows 11 have been solely obtainable to members of the Dev Channel. So to put in Home windows 11 Model 22000.100 or higher on a legitimate Home windows 10 PC, customers wanted to activate the Home windows Insider Beta Channel on the Replace & Safety Settings display screen in Home windows 10 after which click on the Examine For Updates button.

SEE: Study how to install Windows 11 on a virtual machine.

On August 23, 2021, Microsoft has launched an ISO file for the Home windows 11 Insiders Preview. Beforehand, customers wanted to improve Home windows 10 to Home windows 11 by Microsoft’s Home windows Insider program. To obtain the Home windows 11 ISO file, navigate to the Windows Insider Preview Downloads web page, and check in together with your account.

SEE: Study how to install Windows 11 from Microsoft’s ISO file.

What’s the Home windows 11 model timeline?

Model 21H2

The unique model of Home windows 11 was launched to the general public in October 2021. This model, additionally known as model 21H2 and codenamed “Solar Valley,” was made obtainable as a preview construct to Home windows Insiders within the improvement channel in June 2021. Throughout its roughly one yr of existence, Home windows 11 model 21H2 was up to date and patched over two dozen instances.

Model 22H2

The Windows 11 2022 Update, also known as 22H2 and codenamed “Solar Valley 2,” was the primary main replace to Home windows 11. The primary preview of model of Home windows 11 22H2 was launched to Home windows Insiders within the Dev Channel on September 2, 2021. The replace started rolling out to the general public on September 20, 2022.

The Home windows 11 2022 Replace included a number of function updates, enhancements and enhancements. Since its launch, Home windows 11 22H2 has been patched and up to date quite a few instances. The Home windows 11 2022 Replace is probably the most present model of the Microsoft working system.

SEE: Try these Windows 11 22H2 enterprise features it’s worthwhile to know.

Model 23H2

The Windows 11 2023 Update, also known as 23H2, was launched to the general public on September 26, 2023. The 23H2 replace will arrive to Microsoft Home windows prospects by way of the usual Home windows replace course of. Nonetheless, as soon as the 23H2 replace is launched, you possibly can drive the replace’s set up by downloading and working the Home windows 11 Set up Assistant.

The Home windows 11 2023 Replace contains a number of function updates, enhancements and enhancements. When vital, Home windows 11 23H2 can be patched and up to date for enhancements and safety. The Home windows 11 2023 Replace is probably the most present model of the Microsoft working system.

What new options include Home windows 11?

New Begin format

In Home windows 11, the newly centered Begin button makes use of the cloud and Microsoft 365 to point out current recordsdata, it doesn’t matter what platform or gadget they have been being seen on beforehand, together with an Android or iOS gadget.

Snap Layouts, Snap Teams and Desktops

A brand new set of options to Microsoft Home windows 11 would be the introduction of Snap Layouts, Snap Teams and Desktops. These provide a “highly effective solution to multitask and keep on high of what it’s worthwhile to get performed,” in line with the Microsoft’s press launch. With these Home windows 11 options, customers can manage home windows and optimize display screen actual property for a cleaner visible format (Determine A). Customers can create and customise separate Desktops for every a part of their life — like one for work and one for private use.

Determine A

New Windows 11 Desktops feature.
The brand new Home windows 11 Desktops function.
Picture: Microsoft

Chat from Microsoft Groups

In Home windows 11, Microsoft is integrating Chat from Microsoft Teams into the taskbar, so customers can immediately join by way of textual content, chat, voice or video with private contacts no matter which platform or gadget is getting used throughout Microsoft Home windows, Android or iOS. Via Microsoft Groups, customers can now immediately mute and unmute or begin a presentation straight from the taskbar within the new OS.

SEE: Discover the change brought by Windows 11 and what that means for the future of Windows 10.

DirectX 12, DirectStorage and Auto HDR

For players, Home windows 11 “unlocks the total potential of your system’s {hardware}, placing a number of the newest gaming expertise to give you the results you want,” in line with Microsoft. Home windows 11 will provide DirectX 12 Final to allow immersive graphics at excessive body charges; DirectStorage for quicker load instances and extra detailed recreation worlds; and Auto HDR for a wider, extra vivid vary of colours. Microsoft Home windows 11 will nonetheless help customers’ favourite PC gaming equipment and peripherals.


Home windows 11’s new Widgets are a customized feed powered by artificial intelligence and Microsoft Edge. As an alternative of utilizing a cellphone to verify information, climate or notifications, now customers can open their Home windows 11 desktop to see a equally curated view. Widgets provides new alternatives inside Home windows 11 to ship customized content material for creators and publishers.

New Widgets feature in Windows 11.
The brand new Widgets function in Home windows 11.
Picture: Microsoft

Microsoft Retailer overhaul

The Microsoft Retailer is getting a serious overhaul; customers could have one secure location for apps and content material to observe, create, play, work and study. In keeping with Microsoft, the Retailer “has been rebuilt for velocity and with an all-new design that’s lovely and easy to make use of. Not solely will we carry you extra apps than ever earlier than, we’re additionally making all content material — apps, video games, exhibits, films — simpler to seek for and uncover with curated tales and collections.”

Quickly, main first- and third-party apps reminiscent of Microsoft Groups, Visible Studio, Disney+, Adobe Artistic Cloud, Zoom and Canva can be obtainable within the Microsoft Retailer.

Android apps

Via its partnership with Amazon and Intel, the Microsoft Retailer permits customers to find Android apps, which could be downloaded by way of the Amazon Appstore. Microsoft is enabling builders and unbiased software program distributors to carry apps to the Microsoft Retailer, it doesn’t matter what app framework is used to create them.

SEE: Study how to get the preview version of Windows 11.

What new options include Home windows 11 22H2?

The primary main content material patch, often known as Home windows 11 22H2, added a number of new options and functions to the working system.

For enterprise customers, Home windows 11 22H2 improved File Discover performance to combine OneDrive standing, which improves crew collaboration and cooperation. The replace additionally added a brand new function referred to as Home windows Studio Results, which can enhance digital conferences with AI-powered processing effectivity.

On the person degree, Home windows 11 22H2 added new quality-of-life options like voice activated navigation, Start Menu feature improvements, extra personalization themes and the Clipchamp app. Additional, Home windows 11 22H2 added new live captioning options for routinely transcribing digital conferences.

What new options include Home windows 11 23H2?

The most recent main content material patch often known as Home windows 11 23H2 provides a number of new options and functions to the working system.

The spotlight of Home windows 11 23H2 Replace is the addition of Home windows Copilot, which integrates an on-demand generative AI function straight into the working system. Home windows Copilot can be accessible to customers as they work with Mail, Paint, Notepad and every other Home windows app.

Home windows 11 23H2 contains an typically requested for capacity to manage RGB peripherals natively by Home windows settings as an alternative of counting on third-party software program and utilities. The replace additionally helps a number of frequent open-sourced archiving protocols, together with 7-Zip and RAR. The 23H2 replace contains quality-of-life enhancements for Home windows File Explorer and the taskbar.

What do builders have to learn about Home windows 11?


Home windows 11 options the brand new PWABuilder3, so builders can construct a PWA from their net app in minutes. WebView2 runtime is included with Home windows 11, which makes it simpler to reap the benefits of its net platform as a safe solution to construct hybrid net apps. Choices like Home windows Terminal and the brand new Microsoft Edge DevTools can nonetheless be used, as they’re now included in Home windows 11.

PWA Shortcuts integrated with Windows 11.
PWA Shortcuts built-in with Home windows 11.
Picture: Microsoft

Home windows App SDK

Launched March 29, 2021, the Windows App SDK (beforehand often known as Challenge Reunion) will make it simpler to combine Home windows 11 options into apps, but it surely nonetheless permits builders to succeed in greater than a billion customers on Home windows 10.

Home windows on ARM

Builders can construct apps that run natively on Windows on ARM with the brand new ARM64 Emulation Suitable ABI. Utilizing the ARM64EC, native ARM and emulated x64 code could be combined in the identical course of or module. This interoperability means builders can optimize apps to run on Home windows on ARM — even when the app has x64 dependencies or masses x64 plugins they don’t management.

SEE: Developers: The Windows 11 platform is back.


To rejuvenate app designs, builders can use WinUI3 in Home windows 11, which provides built-in UI updates reminiscent of rounded geometry, refreshed iconography, new typography, enjoyable micro-interactions like Lottie animation and refreshed colour palette. The Snap layouts function will helps with most productiveness in Home windows 11.

Reunion Windowing

Reunion Windowing permits builders to simply handle and create app home windows. The function works with current app codes, simplifies frequent operations and brings new performance to desktop apps like Mild-Dismiss Conduct, Image-In-Image mode and simpler titlebar customization.

Microsoft Retailer commerce availability

Together with the foremost adjustments to the Microsoft Retailer, Microsoft is taking steps to unlock larger financial alternative for creators and builders. Microsoft plans to allow builders and unbiased software program distributors to carry their apps no matter whether or not they’re constructed as a Win32, Progressive Net App, Common Home windows App or every other app framework. This can permit builders to succeed in and have interaction a bigger viewers.

The income share insurance policies can be altering, too, in line with Microsoft. App builders can now carry their very own commerce into the Microsoft Retailer and hold 100% of the income — Microsoft takes nothing. Builders can nonetheless use Microsoft’s commerce with aggressive income share of 85/15.

What are the system necessities for Home windows 11?

  • Processor: 1GHz or quicker with two or extra cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip.
  • RAM: 4GB.
  • Storage: 64GB or bigger storage gadget.
  • System firmware: UEFI, Safe Boot succesful.
  • Graphics card: Suitable with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver.
  • Show: Excessive-definition (720p) show that’s larger than 9″ diagonally, 8 bits per colour channel.
  • Web connection: Home windows 11 House version requires web connectivity and a Microsoft account to finish gadget setup on first use. Switching a tool out of Home windows 11 House in S mode requires web connectivity.

SEE: Right here’s how to tell if your PC can run Windows 11.

What are feature-specific necessities for Home windows 11?

Some options in Home windows 11 have elevated necessities past these listed above. Listed below are extra particulars relating to necessities for key options per Microsoft.

  • 5G help: Requires a 5G-capable modem.
  • Auto HDR: Requires an HDR monitor.
  • BitLocker to Go: Requires a USB flash drive (obtainable in Home windows Professional and above editions).
  • Consumer Hyper-V: Requires a processor with second degree deal with translation capabilities (obtainable in Home windows Professional and above editions).
  • Cortana: Requires a microphone and speaker and is presently obtainable on Home windows 11 for Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, the U.Okay. and the U.S.
  • DirectStorage: Requires an NVMe SSD to retailer and run video games that use the Normal NVM Specific Controller driver and a DirectX12 GPU with Shader Mannequin 6.0 help.
  • DirectX 12 Final: Out there with supported video games and graphics chips.
  • Presence: Requires a sensor that may detect human distance from gadget or intent to work together with gadget.
  • Clever Video Conferencing: Requires video digital camera, microphone and speaker for audio output.
  • A number of Voice Assistant (MVA): Requires a microphone and speaker.
  • Snap: Three-column layouts require a display screen that’s 1920 efficient pixels or larger in width.
  • Mute and Unmute from Taskbar: Requires video digital camera, microphone and speaker for audio output. App should be suitable with function to allow international mute and unmute.
  • Spatial Sound: Requires supporting {hardware} and software program.
  • Groups: Requires video digital camera, microphone and speaker for audio output.
  • Contact: Requires a display screen or monitor that helps multi-touch.
  • Two-factor authentication: Requires use of PIN, biometric (fingerprint reader or illuminated infrared digital camera), or a cellphone with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities.
  • Voice Typing: Requires a PC with a microphone.
  • Wake on Voice: Requires Fashionable Standby energy mannequin and microphone.
  • Wi-Fi 6E: Requires new WLAN IHV {hardware} and driver and a Wi-Fi 6E succesful AP or router.
  • Home windows Hiya: Requires a digital camera configured for close to infrared imaging or fingerprint reader for biometric authentication. Gadgets with out biometric sensors can use Home windows Hiya with a PIN or transportable Microsoft suitable safety key.
  • Home windows Projection: Requires a show adapter that helps Home windows Show Driver Mannequin (WDDM) 2.0 and a Wi-Fi adapter that helps Wi-Fi Direct.

SEE: Discover the system requirements and the security benefits of Windows 11.

Is Home windows 11 free?

Home windows 11 is out there by a free improve for eligible Home windows 10 PCs and on new PCs as of October 5, 2021. To see in case your Home windows 10 PC is eligible for the free improve to Home windows 11, download the PC Health Check app. Microsoft mentioned it’s working with its retail companions to “be certain that [the] Home windows 10 PCs you purchase right now are prepared for the improve to Home windows 11.”

Practice your crew and turn into a Home windows 11 energy person with The Essential Windows 11 Course and The Ultimate Windows 11 Training Video Course from TechRepublic Academy.

Is Home windows 11 value it?

In keeping with Microsoft’s current support plan, Home windows 10 will lose help for future function and safety updates on October 14, 2025. After that date, any enterprise, no matter measurement, will incur a major danger of legal responsibility for utilizing Home windows 10. With that in thoughts, upgrading to Home windows 11 is clearly vital and completely well worth the effort and time.

Home windows 11 is designed to reap the benefits of the newest in each {hardware} and software program safety protocols, one thing Home windows 10 isn’t capable of do. These safety measures assist the working system fend off numerous cyberattacks and malware together with software program viruses and ransomware. As a result of Home windows 11 is a free improve to Home windows 10, for many companies and people there’s little cause to not improve.

SEE: Right here’s how to find and install the new Windows 11 22H2 update.

Source link